Saturday, September 24, 2011

A journey not made

Amrita wished to visit the Sri Krishna temple at Guruvayur for a long time. She had a vow to discharge. She had heard her friends speak about the enchanting idol and the serene atmosphere of devotion that pervades there. She had booked the tickets for the family a fortnight in advance. They had not gone on any vacation for more than two years due to some reason or the other. She had a small plan to visit a few scenic spots if possible before they returned to Bangalore. Her husband Ananth despite a busy schedule gave in to her pleas and had taken three days leave. The kids were in raptures. She started packing for the trip without forgetting to take her traditional dresses both for her and family for the visit to Kerala temples that had some regulations.

It was the day prior to the departure by plane to Cochin. It was 11 am and the telephone rang. It was Ananth who told her in a flustered tone “Look Amrit, I got a phone call from the senior home where my grandpa’s brother is staying that he had taken seriously ill and admitted to a hospital at Vellore. They rang me up as I am the nearest kin as per their records. It seems that he had expressed a desire to meet me. I am going by car after lunch and will let you know after reaching.”

“Oh, oh, what about our trip slated for tomorrow. The plane leaves early in the morning at 8 am. We are all packed up and ready. Will you be back by evening?”Amrita asked anxiously.

“I will give a ring from there. You know he has no children or any other relative. Let us pray he stabilizes by evening. Wait for my call from Vellore”Ananth replied

“I am always unlucky. After two long years after much imploring you had agreed. You always pleaded inability blaming your office. Now you have to go to see an ailing relative who is 85 years old. Agreed that you have to go and see him but what prevents you from assuring me that you will be back in the evening?” she replied.

“Don’t be foolish. How can I assure you when I do not know how sick he is?” he shot back

“What is it you are going to do by being present there after you have met him? He must be under doctors’ care and they would give him the treatment needed. Your grand pa’s brother is not poor and has money for best treatment. If there is a need, we can always return. I wish to go to Guruvayur temple tomorrow as per schedule. I want you back in the night” she told in raised voice.

“You are being unreasonable. Would you do it if it were your grandfather? At any rate I cannot promise anything until I meet the doctors. Keep praying and wait for my call. I am in a hurry”he said as he disconnected the call.

The kids were sorely disappointed. Amrita could not console the kids. She was angry with her husband and was even sore with his old relative for spoiling the plan. But she was still hoping that her husband would return by 10pm at least. Instead she got a call from him around 10.30 pm.She heard him telling “My grandfather is really sick and in intensive care. The doctors are not sanguine about the outcome of their efforts to save him and wished me to stay back for the night. I am sorry, Amrit, but there is no way out. Please cancel the tickets immediately and also inform the tourist car chap. I will call you in the morning.”

“I knew that this is what would happen. Stay there as long as you wish” she said and slammed the phone down. The phone rang again and again but she just ignored.

In the morning around 8am Ananth called and said “By god’s grace chinna thatha is stable .I would leave Vellore after meeting the senior doctor. I am sure you would have cancelled the tickets. God willing, we will go next week.”

“I knew this is what you would say. I am making no plan. Do what you wish” she replied and hung the phone.

As she was watching the TV around 9 am, there was flash news under breaking news about the crash of the morning plane from Bangalore to Cochin and that the authorities feared heavy casualities.She was shocked with disbelief as this was the plane she should have taken with her family. She was dazed for a while before she rang up Ananth to convey the news.

“I am sorry Ananth for being rude to you. It is all Lord Krishna’s grace that made us escape this tragedy. His ways are mysterious and He had shown His grace through the sickness of thatha (grandpa).If you are planning to visit Vellore tomorrow, I too wish to accompany you. Our grandpa is in a way instrumental for our well being today.”

“…Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower……
William Cowper


  1. The twist , I'm afraid was anticipated.
    The verses penned at the end are interesting.
    But KP , what makes me seek an explanation more often after reading similar plot is , why did Providence shower his unfathomable grace on a few while the many other were thrown to the ravages?

  2. This happens too often. There are always angels in disguise. They are there to prevent you from going before your time. But if your time is up, then the angels bid farewell too. :) Nicely written. I totally identify with Amrita.

  3. aha.. that's the way wives will react when some unforeseen circumstances change our plans..
    hmm.. nice story

  4. Well narrated. God manifests in his own way.His hand is always seen at the right time at right place, so heartening it is.

  5. Was it like some premonition? I don’t know…
    But it reminds of the movie, Final destination! :P

  6. Yes...God knows what is best for us...I have experienced his grace many times

  7. So well written
    it was nice to read it

    have a nice sunday
    Kareltje =^.^= Betsie >^.^<

  8. That was a pleasing one!
    But what struck me is the lady's reaction, I dont know if it was an intended irony, but she is reluctant to visit or pray for an old man, with no one to care for.. but she wants to VISIT the temple.. what is prayer without good caring heart..?

  9. Grace or whatever.. i feel some sort of it at times..

    i believe its just a belief..;)

  10. I believe in destiny. Here, it came in the role of the grandfather for Amrit and her family!

    Well written story, Partha Sir!

  11. This incident brought tears to my eyes. Yes indeed your escape is indeed through the grace of the Almighty. God bless you and your family.

    Thanks for leaving your comments on my post. Pl keep visiting.

    Best Regards

  12. God tests if you are selfish, teaches you with His love!
    I liked this story a lot!

  13. Nice story KP!! Makes you believe that everything happens for the best though we may not always know the reason at that point.

  14. Nice read..
    We just need to believe everything happens for good.. but this is so very difficult :)